The Swan 53 (Mk 2) Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Swan 53 Mk2, an aft cockpit sloop, was designed by German Frers and built in Finland by Nautor Swan. This is a later version of the 53 (of which 50 were built), which was also designed by German Frers, but to an entirely different design.

Swan 53 sailboat at anchor in Rodney Bay, St Lucia in the CaribbeanA Swan 53 Mk2

Published Specification for the Swan 53 Mk2

Underwater Profile: Bulb fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (fibreglass)

Length Overall: 54'1" (16.5m)

Waterline Length: 47'3" (14.4m)

Beam: 15'7" (4.8m)

Draft: 8'1" (2.4m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 48,501lb (22,000kg)

Designer: German Frers

Builder: Nautor Swan (Finland)

Year First Built: 2005

Year Last Built: 2009

Number Built: 20

Published Design Ratios for the Swan 53 Mk2

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.2

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 37.3

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 205

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 39.3

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Swan 53 Mk2

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.2 suggests that the Swan 53 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 37.3 would usually mean that the Swan 53 would have a tendency to heel uncomfortably in a gust, and need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

However, as she has much of her ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, she's likely to be considerably stiffer than her published Ballast/Displacement Ratio might suggest.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 205, tells us the Swan 53 is a light-to-moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. 

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 39.3 suggests that crew comfort of a Swan 53 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Swan 53 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

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